European Energy Trap

The original failure is not the energy dependence of Europeans from Russia

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

One can imagine how the situation would be now with an American president Donald Trump. Someone in Moscow would rub their hands, and the unity in the appearance of the Europeans would hardly be as determined as it is at present. Hopefully, politicians from Brussels to Berlin and London to Paris remember in this hour that already the next president of the United States might not be a transatlantic friend like Joe Biden.

While his approval rating is dropping dangerously at home, Biden can score points abroad and improve the U.S.’s international standing. But that doesn’t sit well with many of his compatriots, who think along the lines of “America first” and thus in reality support autocratic aspirations – a dangerous path that Trump had already led the U.S. down. Biden’s increasing unpopularity is unlikely to change due to the fact that the Europeans now actually want to buy environmentally harmful fracking gas from overseas.

It is hard to understand why ludicrous sanctions exist against Russian private citizens while the real lever that helps finance Putin’s war on Ukraine is left untouched. Germany, for example – according to Robert Habeck (Alliance 90/The Greens), Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, – is still dependent on Russian natural gas until mid-2024 and is using this argument as justification to continue trading with Russia. A unified and convincing policy against Putin looks different, who now wants the natural gas to be paid for in rubles. Perhaps Germany will experience its decisive showdown next week, when one of the two sides will have to relent. So far, it is hard to imagine that Putin will give in.

A loss of Russian gas supplies would have a devastating impact not only on the German economy and most private households, but also on the entire European market. For the announced gas supplies from America can only cover ten percent of Europe’s demand in the short term.

There has long been criticism that Germany and Europe have become too dependent on Russia, and now we are seeing the consequences. But Germany’s energy agreements – given the country’s long and guilt-laden history with Russia – were seen not least as a guarantee of mutual trust by building reciprocal dependencies. It was assumed that the Russians would have no interest in completely throwing themselves over with us if they themselves have advantages through economic cooperation.

The project has failed. But how to solve the world’s problems without a giant country like Russia? Russia cannot be downgraded or dissolved. Isolated, it would be a constant threat to world peace.

The long-term mistakes were not made in the energy sector, but in geostrategic matters. The West, under U.S. leadership, has not made consistent efforts since the 1990s to integrate Russia into security structures while providing security guarantees to bordering countries without integrating them into NATO and thus not cornering Russia.

From the very beginning there have been no serious efforts to transform the former Soviet Union into a partner after its disintegration. If this had happened, even in America today hardly anyone would be talking about Europeans’ energy dependence on Russia.

German State Secretary: Refugees across the Atlantic as well

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Visiting a shelter for Ukrainian refugees today in Hannover, Lower Saxony, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) said every country in Europe must take in refugees. She added: “We must also bring people across the Atlantic.” Given the dramatic situation in Germany and the economic capability of the countries on the American continent, she could only have meant Canada and the USA.

The German Foreign Minister’s demand is more than justified. The refugees from Ukraine are clearly an overall responsibility of the West due to its misguided policies towards Russia in the 1990’s. In concrete terms, this means that all NATO countries should be required to accept refugees from Ukraine, as the Alliance as a whole has been moving its external border closer and closer to Russia since 1999, thereby unnecessarily provoking the country. Of course, this does not entitle Russia to the war in which it is now bogged down. But the disintegrating Soviet Union should have been treated more carefully by the West, instead of pushing it into the corner of a possibly Asian peripheral power via the American Wolfowitz Doctrine.

Germany’s Secretary of State Annalena Baerbock (Alliance 90/The Greens).

In the meantime, it has almost been forgotten that in 1990 there were even brief considerations of admitting the Soviet Union to NATO.

At that time, there were many opportunities to integrate Russia into European security structures based on reciprocity. These opportunities have been punitively squandered. A prudent policy by the West would have made this bonding possible under the acceptance not to impose Western-style democracy on Russia. Anyone who was able to observe the political upheavals in Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980’s from close quarters knows that this is true.

Now the European Union expects ten million refugees from Ukraine – that would be a quarter of the country’s entire population. This represents an enormous social burden and at the same time an opportunity for the entire West, including the U.S., to show its true Christian commitment.

A Human Disaster

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

In 2015, Germany mastered the refugee crisis with flying colors – it is remarkable how a million people were integrated into what was already Europe’s most populous country. But now I am anything but optimistic. Special trains from Warsaw carrying Ukrainian refugees reach the German capital Berlin almost at hourly intervals. 10,000 people arrive here alone every day.

The solidarity of the local population still holds.

At Berlin’s main train station, numerous signs in Russian and Ukrainian warn young women in particular not to accept overnight offers from private individuals. Most refugees are women and children. If they do not register upon arrival, every trace is lost. The police patrol everywhere.

On the tarmac of Berlin-Tegel Airport, which was shut down in November 2020 and where my wife and I had landed just three years ago, an arrival center was opened where refugees are registered, cared for and then transported on to other federal states in Germany. The City of Leipzig has already signaled that it has reached its intake capacity.

The German government now assumes that one million refugees from Ukraine will end up in Germany, almost 300,000 of whom are already in the country. But this figure is vague, because no one knows how long the war will last. And it can hardly be assumed that most of the refugees want to return to their destroyed country.

By comparison, the U.S. is about 27 times larger than Germany, but it has barely four times as many inhabitants.

This is the largest movement of refugees in Europe since 1944/45, when 14 million people from the former German eastern territories were fleeing the approaching Soviet army at the end of World War II. One of them was my father from East Prussia.

The End of Globalization

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

The headline to my blog page is “Wind of Change.” However, this is not how I imagined the changes – I have to say that honestly. It is a caesura in the lives of people, especially in Europe, that was considered unthinkable just a few weeks ago.

When the war in Ukraine ends one day, Putin will be sitting on a pile of rubble that he conquered, isolated from most of the world. He is already turning to China as an ally because there is nothing else left for him. Once again, humanity is facing a division into hostile power blocks: We are returning to a phase of power politics that defined the European modern era from the 15th into the 20th century and that we thought we had overcome – but that we have now fallen back into.

These are anything but good prospects for the West, because it believed – correctly – that all problems of mankind can only be solved globally, which means: with at least the largest powers of this earth on one and the same side. Because the climate crisis, the hunger crisis in the southern part of the globe, and the refugee movements, such as now from Ukraine, do not stop at national borders. Instead, achieving these goals will now be even further away.

Where Trump had failed for the time being with his “America First” policy, Putin is now much more advanced in his own, Russian sense (which is why the two got along so well). This means: Only what I want counts – and I can enforce that by any means, even by force if necessary (see storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021). Such political means fall under the category of “autocracy.” That was the concession for the stunning decision of 75 million Trump voters in the U.S. in 2020, many of whom believe to this day that this election was rigged.

From now on, globalization in its true sense will no longer be practicable, because the world community is falling back into power blocks, with all these global problems becoming a matter of negotiation that always result in mediocre compromises instead of really tackling the problems. Moreover, the world sees itself divided into two ideological, fundamentally opposed camps: Authoritarian states on the one hand, democratic ones on the other – with even the U.S. a shaky candidate, as Christian pseudo-conservatives reject progress in a fierce determination to fight anything that threatens their supposed values.

In addition, there is a threat of social unrest in countries like Germany, because the reversion to high levels of armaments means that budget funds are being reallocated to unproductive areas like the military, which are then – logically – lacking elsewhere. Unlike people in the U.S., however, Germans are not used to being abandoned by their welfare state. The German government is already talking about subsidizing gasoline and heating costs so that the burdens on citizens do not rise ad infinitum.

Putin has succeeded in destroying the global world order. The consequences will be catastrophic worldwide. This will also be felt by those who still live with their heads in the sand and believe that they alone can solve their country’s problems with feigned ostentation.

The “Me First” policy will come with a dear price.

Only China can make Putin see Reason

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Putin will never succeed in bringing all of Ukraine under his control. I am sure that is not his intention either. Contrary to Western assumptions, the man is not a lunatic, far from it – he knows how to play his cards. He is a Machiavellian. Therefore, he also knows what could exceed the forces of his country.

If anyone at all can mediate in this conflict, it is not the Americans, and certainly not the Europeans. Europeans no longer play any role at all in the big decisions. China – to the detriment of the USA – has the decisive key role to play. If Putin listens to anyone at all, it is Chinese leader Xi Jinping. For the same reason, all channels of communication with Putin must be kept open if the war in Ukraine is to be ended as quickly as possible. As things stand, there will be no other way.

Even then, Putin is unlikely to back down from his demands: Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, the same for the Donbass, but above all: a guarantee by the West of Ukraine’s neutrality. If peace is wanted – and this peace must come – then this is the price that the West will have to pay for its reckless policy of hubris toward Russia.

The only other possibility would be to bring Russia to its knees militarily or, in the end, even economically. Neither seems very realistic, as Biden’s “no” vote on fighter jets from Poland for Ukraine underscores. It would provoke Russia even more with devastating consequences for the whole of Europe. Here, the West is already showing signs of giving in. And the more the West fights Russia with sanctions, the more it brings the majority of patriotic Russians to Putin’s side.

Even the pictures of protests in Moscow do not change that. For more than a generation, the majority of Russians have wondered what the country actually fought for and won in World War II – only to lose so much again afterwards under its own concession. One has to put oneself in this position of Russian patriots – of a country which was, after all, allied with the USA in the last Great War. All this is directly related to the war in Ukraine.

The other victorious nation, the United States, after the destruction of Hitler’s Germany and with far fewer casualties than the Soviet Union, did not shrink a square inch, did not lose power, although it too has since instigated unjust wars in other parts of the world.

Lindsey Graham wants a Stauffenberg in Moscow

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

US Senator Lindsey Olin Graham from South Carolina asks for a Stauffenberg in the ranks of the Russian leadership to “eliminate Putin”, referring seriously to the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on July 20th, 1944, at Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair) in Rastenburg/East Prussia. Only someone who either has not the foggiest clue of the historical background himself or believes he can delude an uneducated part of his own people unable to distinguish an X from a W, can publicly express such a pathological train of thought.

At the same time, an American politician would be well advised these days to avoid any historical proximity to the time of World War II if he wants to attack Putin at least verbally.

For at the time when Stauffenberg and consorts were trying to prove the Aryan superiority of Hitler’s ideology, Mr. Graham’s country was allied with a dictator who was not only a Communist and a Bolshevik but, according to American historians, was every bit the tyrant Hitler: Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, predecessor of today’s Russia.

Is Mr. Graham even aware that just a few years before the Americans allied with the Bolsheviks, Stalin deliberately starved millions to death – in Ukraine, of all places? Or is the man really that ignorant? Who does he think he can sell his story to?

It is unknown to me to date that there was even one single American politician at the time, at least until the Berlin Blockade, who would have publicly called for the assassination of the mass murderer Joseph Stalin, the ally of the USA. On the contrary – in their books, historians such as Thomas Flemming and David McCullough unanimously describe that U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Soviet leader Joseph Stalin if he could call him “Uncle Joe.”

Apart from that, the comparison with Hitler’s assassin, Colonel Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, is completely nonsensical from a historical point of view, because the assassination coup in the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia was amateurishly carried out by a military clique that could not get close enough to Hitler beforehand and courted him wherever possible. Without the same officers, Hitler could not have started his wars of aggression in the first place. It was only after Stalingrad, the collapse of Army Group Center, and the Allied landings in Normandy six weeks earlier that most Germans realized the war was no longer winnable, and only then did Stauffenberg decide to kill Hitler.

Not a single one of this military clique had the courage to stand in front of Hitler with the pistol drawn and shoot the Fuehrer at close range. It would have been easy to eliminate Hitler in this way – long before July 20. For Hitler did not give much thought to security measures for himself until shortly before the end of the war – because he believed that he had been chosen by fate to redeem the German people.

Incidentally, the Germans also have their difficulties with the interpretation of their own history. Every year the conspirators of July 20th are commemorated in Berlin’s Bendlerblock, while those who were murdered for their genuine resistance immediately after Hitler’s seizure of power or before are given secondary attention everywhere in today’s Germany. This concerns the tens of thousands who were imprisoned and died in the first concentration camps as early as 1933: unnamed communists, socialists, Christians, trade unionists, social democrats, centrist politicians.

Of the noble officers, with few exceptions, most made common cause with Hitler or were in tacit acceptance until they saw that all was lost. In his book “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) and his speeches Hitler never made a secret about his true intentions. With Putin, however, things are somewhat different. The war he conducts is as much a crime like the war was in Vietnam – but it does not make him a Hitler or Stalin.

Of all things, to associate a Nazi officer, albeit one who turned in the end, with an assassination of Putin shows a lack of knowledge that extends to naivety. Graham’s remark is an insult not to Putin but to the Russian soul, whereas the American probably knows the name Stauffenberg only from a movie with Tom Cruise, in which not even Stauffenberg’s uniform is properly depicted, not to mention the historical sequence of events. So how would a Mr. Graham know that the memory of the Great Patriotic War is still very much alive in today’s Russia, since the country suffered by far the most casualties in World War II?

The Americans who buy Graham’s gossip should educate themselves before they fall for such disastrous nonsense. The senseless American Rambo talk does not help especially the people in Ukraine.

“Fuck The EU”

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Do we remember the following?…/eu-us-diplomat-victoria…

This is not meant to justify Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine – on the contrary. But it may be recalled how Washington and also the European Union tried to manipulate the opposition they preferred in Ukraine after Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian president, came to office in 2010 in a recognized election.

Western interference came to light when a bugged telephone conversation between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Ross Pyatt, was leaked in 2014 on the internet.

By “Fuck the EU,” Mrs. Nuland was referring to the European Union’s reluctance to support the stricter U.S. intent to “arrange” a pro-Western course for Ukraine by manipulating Ukrainian opposition against Russia and for its (the West’s) own interests.

At that time, then U.S. President Barack Obama had repeatedly assured the world public that the U.S. would not interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine. This was a lie that came to light openly through the phone call.

It has long been confirmed that the 2013/14 protests on the Maidan in Kiev, the perseverance of the masses in freezing cold in tent cities, was a subversion financed by the United States and the European Union.

The West is partly to blame for the fate of Ukraine, because for years it has ostensibly pursued only its own interests and not the interests of the people of Ukraine. The compassion of ordinary people today, who want to help, is real – the “compassion” of the West is hypocritical.

As always, it is the people who have to suffer. This is what we are now witnessing in Ukraine, and the accompanying hypocritical chatter of the Europeans at the expense of the suffering population in Ukraine is hard to bear. The West should be ashamed of itself.

The Note that James Baker no longer knows

The West is not innocent of the War in Ukraine

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III responded to my question about NATO’s eastward expansion. Mr. Baker was present in a leading position when, in 1990, the negotiations with the Soviets on the reunification of my homeland primarily concerned the question of the future of the transatlantic alliance.

The answer of the statesman to a directly affected person like me is extremely polite, but also just as politically codified. I assume that the chief negotiator at the time can no longer openly refer to the actual result of 1990 in view of the current explosive nature of the unchecked eastward expansion of NATO.

He then does not address my core question in an unambiguous form but refers mainly to the issue of Germany’s future NATO membership, which was very relevant at the time. The possibility of excluding the area acceding to the Federal Republic of Germany – i.e., the GDR – from future NATO membership was also briefly discussed, but finally discarded. With reference to my main question, Mr. Baker writes to me that “nobody at that time was considering the possibility of expanding NATO to other countries.” But in another passage, it says: During the early stage of the negotiations he (Baker) had raised the possibility towards Gorbachev that the USA COULD agree to a non-extension of NATO to the East, if the Soviet Union agreed to a German reunification. However, this had only been a “what if” consideration, which was withdrawn a short time later.

His initial remark apparently refers to February 9, 1990, when he settled the NATO issue with Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev in Moscow, which resulted the following day in the Soviet “yes” to an economic and monetary union vis-à-vis East Germany – which, as is well known, led to German reunification that same year. But Mr. Baker did not mention to me a note he wrote specifically about the promise to the Soviets not to expand NATO beyond the German Oder-Neisse line.

Instead, the end of the letter from his office states that the information is for the recipient’s personal use only and is to be kept confidential. Therefore, I cannot publish them in their entirety, but only use parts of their content analogously.

As chance would have it, on the morning of February 26, 2022, I came across an interview with the former German Minister of State in the Foreign Office and former First Mayor of Hamburg, Klaus von Dohnanyi. The interview with him had been broadcast by Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting), a public broadcaster for the federal states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt (my home state). I followed von Dohnanyi’s statements live on the Internet.

Von Dohnanyi cited a written memo from the U.S. Secretary of State referring to NATO, without which German unification would not have been possible because the Soviets would otherwise have refused to give their consent. The German politician said in a statement: “Baker’s reference in that note implies Germany can join NATO as a whole, but beyond that there is no expansion.” And further: “The context is completely indisputable – anyone who denies this does not know the files.”

So, we have two statements here. One diplomat doesn’t really get to the topic, avoids it politely and very clever – the other diplomat quotes the file situation.

I personally have not seen this note, but it hardly makes sense why the Soviets de facto gave up everything they had gained in World War II without at least securing their own borders and demanding corresponding assurances from the West. This seems highly unlikely – regardless of the fact that in 1990 no one could have accurately foreseen the breakup of the Soviet Union and with it the emergence of independent former Soviet republics like Ukraine that would now pursue their own security interests.

In addition, there are statements in audio and visual documents from politicians active at the time who, by their own admission, did not intend NATO to expand eastward – see my article “The West’s Falsification of History.”

Let’s conclude with one of the most respected and brilliant diplomats the U.S. has ever had: George F. Kennan, the architect of US post-World War II strategy of containment of the Soviet Union. When secretary of state Madeleine Albright in 1999 formally welcomed Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at the Harry S. Truman presidential library in Independence, Missouri, Kennan called the expansion of NATO into Central Europe “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold war area”, causing damage “beyond repair” to efforts to transform Russia from an enemy into a partner.

My implication is the following: Putin is inexcusable, because every war is a crime, no matter who starts it. But how the West presents itself these days is not only frightening, but shameful.

The West bears a historically verifiable share of the guilt for the war in Ukraine.

“No one answered”

Why Putin attacked

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

He is still the President of Ukraine, but his hours are probably numbered. It is to be hoped that he and his family will get out of the country in time and unharmed, because he is still young. But Volodymyr Selensky will have his own story to tell about the reliability of the West.

The phrases from Washington to Berlin have proven to be rhetoric of outrage and compassion fading away like the echo in the cave.

His home country has been betrayed and sold by its western “partners”, in the end mercilessly abandoned, in spite of all the full-bodied words towards Kiev. Yet the country had been the plaything of Washington before, as Trump’s envoys sought to enrich themselves at the country’s expense, such as one Rudi Giuliani and his criminal Ukrainian business partners. We remember: American payments for defense purposes were used as leverage for statements by the Ukrainian president about Trump and his alleged blamelessness. This was nothing but a form of state terrorism and blackmail on the part of the USA.

It is significant what Volodymyr Selensky had to say last night on camera: he had addressed the leaders of 27 countries in the past hours to accept Ukraine into NATO immediately. “But everyone is afraid, no one has answered.”

Ukraine in NATO would activate in this hour the immediate alliance case, with which all member states would have to support Ukraine immediately militarily. The conflict would most likely turn into a global conflagration. Conversely, if Ukraine had been in NATO for a long time, Putin would not have attacked it. It was his unbearable nightmare that the country could join the Atlantic Alliance and Russia would be strategically cornered more and more. That is why he attacked.

There is little likelihood that Ukraine will settle down after the war; a human tragedy emerges. Europeans can prepare themselves for a new wave of refugees. All this is happening mainly because the West, in boundless hubris and arrogance over the past two decades, thought it could put Putin in his place and push Russia back.

Cui Bono – to whom is it a benefit?

How the West provoked the Russian Bear

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

An old Latin phrase goes: “Cui bono?”, which translates roughly as “to whom is it a benefit?” This, it seems, is a conclusion according to which everyone twists his own version of history (or simply omits facts), and as a result only comes to light how much the blusterers like to measure things with double standards: When two do the same thing, it is far from being the same.

The omission of facts has served the West as a justification to blame the other not only since these days. What made U.S. President Barack Obama, of all people, not only insult Russia but throw stones in his own glass house during the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague? The quote is worthwhile because it shows how arrogantly, negligently and immoderately the USA and Europe – the occasion was the Russian invasion of Crimea – railed against Russia. Obama said at the time, “Russia is a regional power that threatens some of its immediate neighbors … We [he meant his own country] do not need to invade our neighbors in order to have a strong, cooperative relationship with them.”

Pardon me?

Who else should the U.S. have attacked as neighbors after the way had been “paved” for westward expansion by wiping out indigenous peoples in violation of treaty after treaty to the point that they no longer mattered? And yet, that was not enough. Mexico, a neighbor, had been attacked in violation of the treaty for – among other things – not allowing slavery in Texas, a part of Mexico – and 40 percent of Mexican territory fell into U.S. hands “just like that” at the end of the war. Now there was no neighbor in the west anymore, for the Pacific was difficult to attack.

This is called, according to free American translation, a “strong cooperative relationship with our neighbors”?

Those who then have hardly any neighbors left but want to advance in their expansionist drive for world domination, eventually look elsewhere in the world. Where have the Americans, as the unmatched military power, not invaded to secure their influence by deposing existing governments, unjust or not, and replacing them according to their own good thinking to protect their own interests? Where have they not used their intelligence services to launch or support plots to organize coups and overthrows – all, of course, under the official guise of “democracy and freedom?” The list of affected countries is not short.

Anyone who is not very interested in history, who is not familiar with it, need only look at recent events – the criminal war in Vietnam is not even necessary in the considerations. In Afghanistan, for example – after George W. Bush’s grandiose announcements about fighting terrorism, although it was clear very soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001, that the majority of the terrorists not only came from the allied Saudi Arabia but had also been financed from there. A little later, weapons of mass destruction were the alleged reason for attacking Iraq – a lie for a pretense. What has become of it?

What capitalist interests, what dilettante ruthlessness was behind pelting the Russian bear with stones in the decades that followed the end of the Cold War? Doesn’t the West realize how much it is fomenting a nationalist revival in Russia?

To this day, no one seems to notice what a divided country Ukraine is – with one of the highest mortality rates in the world, by the way. Apparently, Russian tanks are already in eastern Ukraine, whose people were denied the use of their native Russian language after Ukrainian independence in 1991. There, in the Donbass, the powerful industrial center of the tsarist empire and the Soviet Union, the Americans with their omnipresent McDonald stores and Coca-Cola will probably have to give up the sails for the time being. One can only hope that the conflict does not spread even further.

But the profit vultures in Stars and Stripes, who already control most of the corporate world, have long been circling elsewhere – in Germany, of all places, whose chancellor according to desire only today decreed the “interim” halt to the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. A victory for the dealmakers, hagglers and speculators: against the will of a majority of the more environmentally conscious German population, the Americans can now probably sell their dirty, overpriced fracking gas in Europe.

So, it looks as if Germany, the largest donor to the largest European country – Ukraine – will be asked to pay twice in the future, including extreme prices for liquid gas, which probably have to be subsidized. For years, German money has been seeping into dubious channels in Ukraine, for the oligarchs there are selling out their country like the Americans are selling out theirs. This means that the boomerang especially for Germany is already in the air. In the end, the sanctions against Russia might harm the Europeans more than the Russians.

As another truism says: democracy is the rule of money.